Below is a devotional written by John MacArthur...let me recommend reading this one and then going back to August 2021 in the Archives section and reread the blog postings that we started with (Parts 1-3). This will conclude our study on LOVE from the devotionals that John MacArthur wrote on this topic. I hope each of us see the importance of 1 Corinthians 13 and begin to apply its truths to our lives. Remember, they'll know we are genuine Christ followers by our what? By our LOVE and Obedience! Let's make every effort to mature in this area.
John 13:35 (NLT) "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
John 14:15 (NLT) “If you love me, obey my commandments."
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV) "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
Song: Love by Petra
Love never compromises God’s Word.
Paul has just given us a list of things that love does not do: become jealous, brag, act arrogantly or unbecomingly, seek its own, become provoked, keep track of wrongs suffered, or rejoice in unrighteousness. Now he comes to the first of five things love does: “[Love] rejoices with the truth” (v. 6).
The contrast in verse 6 is between love’s inability to rejoice in unrighteousness and its joy when truth prevails. “Truth” refers to God’s Word, which is the standard of righteousness. Paul could have said, “Love doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with righteousness,” but he went beyond the mere deeds of righteousness and addressed its standard and motive.
Love won’t tolerate false doctrine or sinful behavior, but it rejoices when God’s Word is taught and obeyed. The psalmist said, “O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies. . . . I have more insight than all my teachers . . . . I understand more than the aged. . . . I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Thy word. I have not turned aside from Thine ordinances, for Thou Thyself hast taught me. How sweet are Thy words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! From Thy precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” (Ps. 119:97-104). That’s the testimony of one who rejoices in the truth.
Often Christians are willing to compromise sound doctrine for the sake of loving others. They believe that doctrinal precision is somehow divisive and unloving. But Scripture says, “This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. . . . For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward” (2 John 6-8).
Biblical love always operates within the parameters of God’s Word and spiritual discernment (Phil. 1:9-10). The most loving thing you can do is live according to biblical truth. Doctrinal compromise simply diminishes the quality of love and plays into the hands of the evil one.
Suggestions for Prayer
Ask God for wisdom and discernment to keep your love within its proper biblical bounds.
For Further Study
Memorize Philippians 1:9-11.
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Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, a pastor, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter